Seeking approval of my Wine Country itinerary, also back up for Ad Hoc
Okay so here it goes,
Lunch: Pizzeria Abruzzo in Napa
Breakfast: Bouchon Bakery (our hotel is right accross the street)
Lunch: Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen (heeded warnings about Go Fish)
Dinner: Ad Hoc
Fiday (the day we leave)
Breakfast: Bouchon Bakery (again, just because of convenient location)
Lunch: Ubuntu (then head for home)
So what do you think?
I've heard Ad Hoc is serving steak house dinners on Thursdays, the husband and I arn't really big steak fans, so if we're not in the mood for steak that night what would be a good alternative? We are based in Yountville so would like to have dinner there. I've heard all the recent negative reports on Bouchon and Bistro Jeanty, and I know Mustards doesn't fair well on these boards either, So
should we just suck it up and eat steak?
If you're staying just accross the street from Bouchon you must be staying at either Villagio or Vintage Inn. If so, both of them have excellent breakfast buffets so you might want to check those out first before going to Bouchon Bakery.
I haven't been to Bistro Jeanty for a couple of years but if Ad Hoc does have steak and you really don't want it and don't want to drive anywhere, then I think you will do just fine at Bistro Jeanty if you stick to some of their classics.
For Ad Hoc, one thing to keep in mind is that they will offer an alternate entree, so if the sides sound good but you just don't want the hunk of steak, they can substitute something (i've usually seen a seafood). The last time I was there, the entree was pork chops, and couple next to us commented (after their meal) that they weren't big pork eaters and the server said that they would have been happy to substitute, so that's something to consider. If you and your guest get different items, I've seen them bring out the main course plated rather than family style, so that's something to be aware of.
In terms of alternates, there aren't a huge number of options in Yountville. Upvalley, I really liked JoLe, but it is pretty far up. You could swap in a picnic lunch on Thursday and then go to Cindy's or Go Fish for dinner. There are lots of options for getting picnic supplies.
If it turns out you don't like the menu at Ad Hoc, you might consider Brix. The address is Napa, but it is a map thing. It is practically next door to Mustard's. and on the Yountville border. I'd make a meal out of their happy hour food where the menu is half price
A few items currently on that meu
- soft shell crab • watermelon & pickled cucumber salad
- baby back ribs • spiced peach barbecue sauce
- squash risotto fritters • fontina • basil aioli
Anne-Gingrass-Paik is the chef and Danielle Brocious is the pastry chef. Don't know if you remember them from when they ran Desiree in the Presidio. For me it is wonderful to experience their cooking on a new level ... with a full kitchen and a restaurant garden.
A hint though is that as much as I love Brocious' pastries, I'd skip the cupcakes which underwhelmed me. She is a genius with fresh fruit so some things that currently look good on the menu (dessert's are not half price)
- aunt janet’s blackberry cobbler • lemon verbina ice cream
- strawberry rhubarb sundae • anise ice cream • biscotti
The view is lovely, set in a vinyard.
I'm not much of a big Bouchon Bakery fan though I do love the donuts there. Maybe as an alternative you might consider instead of two days at Bouchon, give Barndesso which is a half a block away a try, I'm pretty sure you can cut through Bouchon's parking lot to get there.
I had dinner there a few weeks back and while I wouldn't recommend Barndesso for dinner over Brix, I thought they were good enough to try breakfast there in the future.
Bistro Don Giavonni is a good alternative 5 miles north towards Napa literally just off the highway. Nice bar, outdoor patio seating etc., If you want to walk and want some Keller food other than the bakery, Bouchon Bistro is actually good. If you want Italian Bottega is also next door to your hotel.
As your ad hoc alternate, check out the Martini House in St. Helena. Lovely setting, great cocktail and booze list, amazing mushroom soup. Maybe a 10-15 drive from Yountville as you head up valley. adam
1245 Spring St., St. Helena